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CIA Discrimination Against Disabled Officers Is Hurting the U.S.

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CIA discriminates against disabled officers

I grinned as the taxi raced through the busy streets of a bustling Middle Eastern city in the middle of the night with my 200-lb. electric wheelchair strapped to the back with bungee cords. There were moments like this throughout my 10-year career as a CIA officer that reminded me how incredible it was that I had made it to the agency as a woman with a disability.

I had always wanted to work for the CIA, having been long intrigued by its mission to accomplish what others cannot accomplish and to go where others cannot go. I learned quickly, however, that that creative, can-do spirit of the agency did not extend to employees with disabilities.

Through a series of national security legislation, the CIA is exempt from doing things it decides would jeopardize national security. On disability issues, they wear those exemptions as both sword and shield—something I watched play out throughout my entire career.

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